Intel Moves to 20nm SSDs in 2012
Intel continues to invest in SSD storage, and as we are used to from the processor giant, all of the products come with code names attached just to make things a little more interesting (or confusing). The company is set to launch quite a few new models in 2012, including some with 20nm NAND.
The solid state drive has had a good couple of years, with SSDs now being present in almost all product categories even in the consumer segment (although they are still mostly of the low-end tablet variety).
Although the SSD is almost certainly doomed in the long run, it should continue to work its way into more consumer devices in 2012, most importantly laptops in Intel’s own ultrabook form factor, which replaces the infamous netbook with something far more useful.
At any rate, Intel is about to release new units in all price categories, starting with entry-level models in the 300 series to the enthusiast-oriented 500 series and 700 series for servers.
First up is a revision of the 300 series, known as Maple Crest. These models are targeting the mainstream market with 25nm MLC memory and should be available in May. The server-oriented 720 “Ramsdale” series should arrive at roughly the same time and utilize the PCI Express interface. The capacities are 400GB and 800GB of storage, using higher-end 25 nanometer MLC flash modules.
In the third quarter, Intel is planning to release a new batch of SSDs in the 500 series, in this case with the code name Kings Crest. The bad news is that these drives will make the transition to 20nm NAND, and by the end of the year the updated 700-series (Taylorsville) and 300-series (Jay Crest / Oak Crest) will also migrate to 20nm. This marks the start of yet another step in the wrong direction for SSD storage.